Have I Become the Person I Always Wanted to Be?

We’ve had a long journey to where we are now, in many ways.  My husband and I were married in 2008.  He moved into the condo I bought before I met him.  Fifteen months later, we bought some property out in the country.  About a week after that, we had our first child.

We were both 36 when we got married.  So, we had duplicates of a lot of stuff.  My husband never really fully unpacked there.  Some of his furniture remained in the garage.  When we bought the property, while we didn’t know when we would build on it, we began packing away unnecessary items.  The garage became full of boxes stacked on top of one another.

In early 2012, I became pregnant with our second child.  I finally finished my wedding scrapbooks that year – I filled two scrapbooks!  It only took four years!  But, I figured that was better than never finishing them at all.  We broke ground on our new home that summer.

We had our daughter in the Fall, and we moved into our new home in January of 2013.  It is a ranch-style home, with a basement.  We didn’t finish the basement immediately, but we had plans to.  More time for stuff to stay in boxes.

We finally began finishing it in 2015.  We did quite a bit of the work ourselves (my husband did most of it), and so it took a while.  We just had carpet installed about a month ago.  I now have a jetted tub, and an office/scrapbooking room.  It is glorious.

And now, the unpacking of forgotten items begins.  A couple of years ago, we had a pump go haywire in the basement.  It would occasionally spray a bunch of water everywhere.  It took us a while to pinpoint the problem.  It was an easy fix, with the help of a professional.  Unfortunately, in the meantime, some of my scrapbooking items were ruined.  In the clean-up, one of the wedding scrapbooks was knocked from a table and damaged.  It was set aside to be repaired or replaced later.

Now that I have my own scrapbooking room, I finally got around to transferring the pages to a new album.  It’s given me the opportunity to look at it for the first time in quite a while.

In it, I had printed the prayer I had asked my nephew to read at our wedding.  I believe I found it in a wedding planning book that offered reading and prayer options.  I’m not sure of the copyright issues, so I won’t include all of it here.

While I believed in God at that time, sadly, I can’t say for certain if I was really expecting God to hear this prayer, or if I just thought they were nice words for the ceremony.  What was amazing to me when I read it, nearly nine years later, is that God has blessed us in all of the requests included in the prayer.

One of the areas that struck me, was the ending, which stated (paraphrasing) . . . and many years from now, may I look at you and think, because of you I am the person I always wanted to be.

It made me think about how much I have changed since we were married.  While my husband has been incredibly supportive in my career choices, especially some that were potentially risky to our financial situation, we have had our share of problems.  Marriage is hard.  These days, people are encouraged to wait until they’re older to get married.  We were on the older end, even these days.  Frankly, I think getting married older, when you’re set in your ways, is actually harder.  I think there is something to be said for marrying young, experiencing firsts, and growing up together.

What I realized, was that it has been the trials in our marriage that have made me closer to the person I want to be.  When I said my vows, I didn’t know who that was.  You don’t know what you don’t know.  While it’s easy to point fingers and blame the other person when things aren’t going smoothly, ultimately, we can only change ourselves.  Marriage has forced me to look at my own immaturity, and I finally had to grow up, big time.

Through trials, my relationship with God and my marriage have been strengthened.  From the English Standard Version, James 1:2-5

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

I was lacking wisdom.  I was so unwise, I thought I was wise.  When we’re going through trials, we just want smooth sailing.  But, it’s through those challenges, we experience true growth and learning.  I’m praying that nine years down the road, I’ll be even closer to the person I want to be.

 

 

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Original Sunscreen Giveaway

Sunscreen Giveaway – Just in Time for Summer Break!

Sponsored By: The Original Sunscreen

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

3 Winners Will Receive:

The Original Sunscreen! A $119 TRV Giveaway!

Thanks to The Original Sunscreen, my worries of being uncomfortable in the hot sun have disappeared. This super easy-to-use and handy product is the perfect solution. With its lightweight design, it’s a breeze to carry to sports games or outside family functions. You can use it pretty much anywhere!
Open To US and must be 18+ to enter

Giveaway Dates ~ 5/16 9:00 AM EST through 5/31 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received The Original Sunscreen at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

Travel and Photography – New York City

I’m really enjoying this trip down memory lane.  I’ve been reviewing photos I haven’t looked at in a long time.

Back in 2005 I met my friend, and some of her friends in New York City for a few days.  Any time I take a trip somewhere new, I wish I could spend more time there.  Yet, I get homesick after a week.  As I’ve said before, I’m a complicated being!  What can I say?!

This was another trip where the people-watching was part of the enjoyment.  While I’m not sure I would want to live there (who could afford to, for one thing?), I had a great time in New York.  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed reminiscing.  Once again, I wish I’d had a better camera . . .

Setting up the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center
Too bad the horse’s head is cut off from the photo. I love this one because the guy’s horse started walking off, so he had to chase it.

Central Park – Of course, I have heard about Central Park my whole life, but I didn’t understand the enormity of it until I visited. The park spans 840 acres!
Bethesda Fountain
We learned early on that the subway was the best way to go, if you wanted to get somewhere on time!

A favorite because of the construction happening. I love photos that capture a unique moment.

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Travel and Photography – Washington D.C.

Before I was married, as an adult, I traveled with my parents once or twice a year.  Some people may think that’s weird, but we had a grand time.  In 2006, we took a trip to D.C.  We were there three or four days.  I didn’t get to see everything I wanted, so I hope to go back someday.  Still, it was an amazing trip.  One thing about D.C., it’s full of memorials.  While worth seeing, it doesn’t necessarily give you the carefree feeling of vacation.  Some nights, I felt emotionally drained by the realization of the sacrifices people have made for our country.  I felt grateful to them, and for the opportunity to see these outstanding memorials.

In my other posts in this Travel and Photography series, I have chosen photos of landscapes and buildings, mostly avoiding photos of people.  But, people-watching was one of the most enjoyable things about this trip – I hope that shows in the photos.  We had many unexpected adventures on this trip, and I captured some great pictures, despite not having the best of cameras.

We stayed at the historic Watergate Hotel, and were there during the Cherry Blossom Festival.  I remember walking through the cherry blossoms – there were so many, it was surreal and wonderful.

Our first night there, we explored the area, and happened upon the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (aka “The Kennedy Center”) just in time for a tour.  That set the stage for the whole trip . . . full of surprises.

The Watergate
We had a view of the Potomac from our room. Every day there were people rowing -as you can see, they kept rowing into the evening. Super cool and fun to watch.

The Kennedy Center
We were there during the Kite Festival. Check out the kites in the background. Awesome!
Lincoln Memorial

Vietnam War Memorial

Jefferson Memorial
Inside the Jefferson Memorial. Spectacular.
Jefferson Memorial through the blossoms
Iwo Jima Memorial. I was disappointed that they were doing maintenance when we were there. But, when I saw the photo with the guy (see him in the bottom right corner?) I thought he made it unique and showed the scale. It became one of my favorite photos.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Something every American should experience.
I couldn’t get enough of the cherry blossoms. So beautiful.
Near the FDR Memorial
More beautiful blossoms

 

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To Rant or Not to Rant, That is the Question

We hear a lot about how people only post the best things in their life on facebook.  It supposedly becomes a contest about who has the best fake life.  But, I personally don’t want to read people’s dirty laundry on social media.  I made a commitment a couple of years ago to only post positive things because I feel there is enough in the world dividing us.

I don’t think posting about your kid graduating from college and beautiful prom photos, and omitting posts about the argument you had this morning, is a bad thing.  People don’t need to read about how the receptionist at your doctor’s office was rude to you this morning.  What’s the point?  I guess it makes people feel a release to spread the negativity.  But, it doesn’t make your facebook friends’ day any better.  I like seeing vacations and kids’ accomplishments.  I don’t see it as bragging.  I see at as celebrating the positive things – because, let’s face it, life can be hard.  Share away, and I’ll be happy for you.

People also say that “Mommy Blogs” are all about perfection, and the bloggers don’t keep it real.  Okay – sometimes that’s true.  I have never tried to do that.  I’ve made it known upfront that I’m not an expert about anything.  Occasionally, I’ll share a tip about something that worked for me, after much trial and error, because maybe it will make someone’s life easier.

I share personal insights on my blog, but I am very careful not to disclose too much about people who are close to me.  This might mean that I have to be creative about how I write something, or it may mean avoiding a topic altogether.  I disclosed something about my daughter, that I decided might embarrass her later in life, so I deleted the post.  I’m constantly making judgment calls – sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t.

We have issues in our lives that I choose not to talk about on my blog or on social media.  Does this mean I’m not being real, because I continue to post positive things, but not the negative?  I don’t think so.  Others might.  I’ve learned that, no matter what I do, there will be some who judge it as wrong.  I’m someone who hates drama and conflict, but I’ve learned that, when you’re dealing with other people (which we all are), we can’t always control what comes into our lives.  Sometimes we have to make choices that others aren’t going to approve of.  Sometimes, it seems, no matter what choice we make, there will be someone who will find fault.

Do I ever feel like ranting publicly about it?  You bet.  But, I refrain, because I feel the repercussions aren’t worth that temporary feeling of relief.  I’m just someone doing the best I can, and I choose to focus on the seemingly rare moments that are worth celebrating.

 

 

 

Love Being a Kid Giveaway

Fun Stuff for the Kids!  Giveaway ends on 05/31!

Sponsored By:

Safety Tat, The Magic Of My Name, ZumoepBuzz, ChanteurCozy PhonesMy Bright Family, and My Grandmother, Mi Abuela

Hosted By:

Love, Mrs. Mommy

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive Over $230 worth of goodies!!

Plus half of the prizes are Winner’s Choice! Details are listed under the descriptions…

Safety Tat

For nearly a decade, Safety Tat has been America’s leading choice for ensuring safe returns.
Their proven, award-winning temp-tattoo and labeling solutions not only provides a fun level of security for your little ones, but peace of mind for Moms and Dads as well. And SafetyTat offers a wide range of flexible products to fit your needs for literally any occasion. Winner can choose any 6-pack of write-on tats, a $10.99 RV!

The Magic Of My Name

In this book, each name generates a unique and fully customized story for each child. No matter if the boy or girl is called Carl, Mary, Egoitz or Brianna, everyone will have a book for their name! In addition, you can edit the physical characteristics of the main character of the story for free. You can also include a personal dedication without additional costs. Winner will receive a personalized copy of The Magic Of My Name, a $29.99 RV!

Zumoe

Zumoe’s Mouthguard and Pacifier Cases add pizzazz to your very important items. The Carabiner assures safety in finding your mouth guard or pacifier a snap and the ID tag is a helpful feature. Other great uses for these cases include storage for your retainer, barrettes, jewelry and all the little things that mean a lot to you. Winner will receive a case of their choice up to an $19.99 RV!

pBuzz

Designed by a team of British musicians the pBuzz is a completely new musical instrument. The brightly colored, light and smooth curved edged product has been designed specifically for mini musicians’ little hands. Simple and easy to play the mouthpiece makes it the perfect introduction to brass playing for early learners. Winner will receive a pBuzz instrument, a $29.95 RV!

Chanteur

Chanteur started out by selling a few products to local shops, but has since expanded to produce and sell thousands of jewelry items per year. We can honestly say our brand represents a line of jewelry that is world-class, and is a perfect choice for the ones you love most. Winner will receive any item of their choice from their website, worth a retail of $94.95!

Cozy Phones

CozyPhones is a small family-owned business that started off by selling sleeping headphones on Amazon, then developed their own brand of fun, comfortable, kids headband headphones called CozyPhones™. They are a veteran owned, U.S. based business and promise a 100% satisfaction with their products. Winner’s choice of any in stock kids headphones, a $24.95 RV!

My Bright Family

​Teaching our children to be polite and have manners is very important. From the time my daughter was very little (yes, even younger than now, hehe), I always made sure to incorporate “please” and “thank you” into her daily routine. Now that my daughter is older, there is this great placemat to help teach her how a place setting looks and helps keep her place at our table clean. This adorable and very helpful placemat was made by My Bright Family, and was definitely a bright idea! Winner will receive a 60-pack of placemats! A $9.99 RV! Read more of my review here!
My Grandmother, Mi Abuela is a Bilingual children’s picture book. My Grandmother, Mi Abuela celebrates the relationship a Granddaughter has with her Grandmother. As they both grow, the unconditional love they share for one another shines through the pages.This heartwarming story is sure to make you want to hold your own Grandmother closer. Winner will receive a copy of My Grandmother, Mi Abuela, a $10.99 RV!

Open To US – Must be 18+ to enter 
Giveaway Dates ~ 5/5 12:01 AM EST through 5/31 11:59 PM EST Good Luck!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received products at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to reply before a new winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Travel and Photography – Prague

My husband and I went to Prague for our honeymoon in 2008.  What a beautiful city!  It was my first trip to Europe, and my husband’s first time going to Prague, so we enjoyed seeing it together for the first time.  I am realizing, going through these photos that I am missing some from an evening dinner cruise we took down the Vltava River, and a day trip we took to Dresden, Germany.  I may have to do a “Prague at Night” post later!  I hope you enjoy these photos of the City of 100 Spires (or is it 1000?  I’ve read both descriptions . . . there are a lot of spires).

Statue of St. Wenceslaus
Tyn Church

St. Vitus Cathedral in the Distance

Charles Bridge Tower

Path to Prague Castle
St. Vitus Cathedral
Tyn Church
Prague Castle
Astronomical Clock
Pizza Oven at What Became our Favorite Restaurant Across the Street from our Hotel
Wenceslaus Square
National Museum

Which of the 100 or 1000 Spires is this?

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Travel and Photography – Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan

In 2005, I got to go on a cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico.  Here are some of the highlights.

From the Cruise Ship
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas
Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta
Mazatlan
Mazatlan

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Hearthsong Gift Certificate Giveaway

HearthSong has some amazing toys!

Sponsored By: HearthSong

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive:

A $50 Gift Certificate to HearthSong!

HearthSong began in 1983 and has been committed to helping parents find age-appropriate, wholesome, high-quality playthings ever since. They select and design the best in kid-powered, screen-free toys and games that the whole family can enjoy! Can I get a high-five?! My sweetpea loves princesses, fairies, and the magical world in which they live. With this in mind, I was inspired to put together a big-girl room, for my up-and-coming three year old!

Click here to read Love, Mrs. Mommy’s full HearthSong Review!

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 5/1 9:00 AM EST through 5/15 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received HearthSong products at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Travel and Photography – Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island is a very unique island in Michigan, on Lake Huron.  It’s like stepping into the past.  No vehicles are allowed on the island, so you must get around by bicycle, horse, or foot.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit twice, and hope to take my kids there sometime in the future.  It’s full of shops, great food, amazing scenery and interesting history.

From the Ferry, on the way to the island
The Grand Hotel from the Ferry
The Island House Hotel, where we stayed. It is the oldest hotel on the island.
Bike Parking in Front of our Hotel

Trinity Church
History of Trinity Church
Fort Mackinac
Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac
Fort Mackinac
The Grand Hotel

Horse Trip Around the Island

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